COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two locations in Ohio are processing the COVID-19 home tests that will be shipped to residences through the federal distribution effort.
What You Need To Know
- Two Ohio facilities are playing a role in the federal distribution of home tests
- USPS said some of the tests that have been ordered are now being shipped
- The packages containing four tests will arrive at residences via first-class mail
In Parma, between 100-150 seasonal and full-time postal workers are processing the tests at a U.S. Postal Service warehouse facility, according to the Cleveland-area postal union. The location is a former General Motors transmission plant.
“We're proud to step up and take care of this task of delivering COVID-19 test kits to those that want them and need them,” said Daleo Freeman, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 72.
The test kits arrive at the facility on pallets, which need to be unwrapped, Freeman said. The tests are sorted into parcels that will be delivered by carriers through first-class mail.
“No other private company has the network, or infrastructure, or even capability to accomplish this kind of task of mailing these test kits to peoples’ homes,” Freeman said.
The other Ohio facility processing the COVID-19 tests is outside of Cincinnati at a warehouse in West Chester.
Chris Simons, a representative of Philadelphia-based Exeter Property Group, which owns the building, said that USPS is leasing the warehouse from them, but he didn’t know the details of the current operations there.
USPS spokesperson Dave Partenheimer said he was unable to share information about the two processing facilities in Ohio.
It’s not clear when Ohio residents will receive packages with the tests they have ordered. USPS said its official goal is for the tests to ship within 7 to 12 days of the date they are ordered.
"The tests that have been ordered are now being shipped,” Partheimer said, but he did not have a specific timeline for Ohio. Spectrum News spoke with four residents on Tuesday and Wednesday, who all said that they were still waiting for their orders.
The COVIDtests.gov website, which officially launched on Jan. 19, allows Americans to order four tests per household from a pool of 500 million tests.
USPS is using strategies from the busy 2021 holiday season to handle the additional tasks associated with delivering these tests.
“These strategies, including additional staffing, an investment in new processing equipment and operational efficiencies, and an expanded facility footprint, mean test kits can get to the Americans who want them in a timely and efficient manner,” Partenheimer said.
In Cleveland, Freeman said operations processing the tests have gone well so far, and he isn’t concerned about staffing challenges.
“We have the manpower, and they're taking care of business,” he said.
Columbus resident Brandon Seibert, 39, said he placed an order for the tests the same day the website went online. He said he is looking forward to having some tests on hand. When he needed a tests two weeks ago following an exposure to a coworker, he wasn’t able to find a kit anywhere.
“If you could name a retailer, I went there. Walmart, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens, none of them had them. It was frustrating,” he said.
Jason Dahlin, 51, of New Albany, said he isn't optimistic that his family’s order will arrive particularly soon, but he said it's not a problem for his purposes. He is planning to use them for a trip to Arizona in March to visit his mother.
“I thought I'd go ahead and put the order in at the beginning and we’ll get them when we get them,” he said.